Yati’s Eel Catfish Cooked in Spicy Coconut Gravy

My ex wife makes the best lemak cili padi that I have ever tasted. Over the years, I have not been able to acquire her skills despite my vast knowledge of other cuisines. Although people who originate from Negri Sembilan swear that their recipes are the best, my ex says that she is from Melaka and they are better! So test it out! This recipe must be cooked in a claypot.
Yati's Eel Catfish Cooked in Spicy Coconut Gravy
Cooking Time
30 mins


  • 8 pieces of eel catfish (ikan sembilang), washed clean and smoked on a charcoal stove
  • 30 bird’s eye chillies, finely pounded
  • 2cm turmeric, finely pounded
  • 2 cups thick coconut cream and 3 cups coconut milk, all taken from 1 and a half coconuts
  • Juice from 3 limes
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a claypot, combine the eel catfish with the pounded chillies and turmeric as well as the lime juice. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.
  2. After 10 minutes, add the coconut milk and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  3. Add the coconut cream and simmer for 5 more minutes on low heat.
  4. Adjust seasoning by adding salt and more lime juice if required.
  5. Serve and enjoy.